Food Topics

AP/EP: What does this even mean?

A look at what the abbreviations AP and EP are, their application, as well as a bad AC/DC pun that does not work so well.

I made this title a certain way because I wanted to explain more in the actual article, as well as to make a bad AC/DC pun, because to me, AP/EP sounds similar, based on the ending sounds of “C” and “P.”  But I digress.

Let me explain what “AP” means first.  AP stands for as purchased.  Now, this one is pretty explanatory, but I will continue to explain, because that’s what I do.  Imagine going to your favorite grocery store, and picking up some ingredients for dinner.  Or lunch.  Or whatever, that’s not the important part.  Let’s say that you bought some oranges, for your secret family recipe of putting oranges on top of some bread.  You bought a pound of the fuckers for $1.49, because I am an American so I use American units.

Now, here’s where the “EP” or edible portion comes in, as well as all the annoying math.  Now, there are 16 ounces in a pound, which means per ounce of orange, you are spending about $0.09.  However, because nobody wants to eat the zest and pith parts of the orange (aka the skin), you have to peel it off before putting it on the bread.  Of the 16 oz of oranges you bought, you wind up using 11.2 of them.  The 11.2 is the weight of the edible portion of the food, so 4.8 oz of orange gets wasted.  This is a 70% yield, meaning that the oranges go from $0.09 to $0.13 in price just counting the EDIBLE part.  So, for one serving of orange, you are spending $0.93 for the peeled orange, compared to the $0.63 for the whole orange.

So what does this mean?  Well, you are for one not good at cooking if bread and oranges became a family recipe.  But it also means that you are spending more money on less food, due to the fact that about 30% of the oranges gets wasted.  It is also an important factor, as there is a food waste problem.  Waste gets thrown out, which can pollute the areas surrounding landfills.  Now, I am not promoting never throwing anything away, but I am promoting awareness.  Maybe you can save some money per serving by using apples instead?

By The Nutrition Punk

I am a dietitian living in Portland, Oregon. I write about a variety of nutrition and heath topics, with the goal of improving people's understanding of food and nutrition so they may be empowered against all the misinformation that is out there.

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